Monday, August 29, 2011

Africa

I've never been there, but today's motivation was inspired by Africa.  A few months ago, I watched an episode of Oprah with a guest, Tererai Trent from Zimbabwe.  Against numerous odds, she earned her Ph.D.  Now she is building schools in her hometown.  Her website is tinogona.com  Tinogona-It Is Achievable. 

It is achievable. 

So as I'm running around the track at the rec center (over and over and over again), I thought of her when I was getting tired before the first mile was even over.  It is achievable.  I can keep going, and I know this because I have done it.  Even though the last mile of each run is the hardest, and even though Kelly is probably going to dump me as her running buddy because I get cranky during that last mile, I have done it.  So keep going.  It is achievable.

As I'm thinking of this woman and telling myself to suck it up, Shakira comes through my headphones singing the lyrics, "When you fall down get up...If you fall down get up...Cause this is Africa"  I love that song, so picking up the pace and getting into the groove was just a little easier.

After that, my sister's comment to yesterday's post came to mind.  Coach Dan had said, "It's not supposed to be easy..."  Now I don't think Coach Dan is from Africa, but he was inspiration today, too.  With these factors all combined, I got through my three mile run much better than what it started out to be.  It took me right at 45 minutes.  I felt strong.  I felt good. And I felt like I accomplished something, even if it was just conquering my own negative thoughts. 

It was a good run.  I want to order one of the t-shirts from Tererai's website.  I think it would be a great t-shirt for those doubt-filled days when you need a reminder:

Tinogona-It is achievable

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Stress Dreams

We had a "race" today.  Everyone was assigned a start time and a pace and a distance.  Theoretically, we would all finish at the same time.  It didn't quite work out that way, but close.  It sounded good in theory.

Kelly and I had both worked the high school football game last night, so neither one of us was home until after 10pm.  That combined with the fact that I have stress dreams about not waking up in time for running club made for a tired me for our early morning run.

Kelly's start time was like twenty seconds after mine, so we were together basically from the get go.  Our distance for the day was four miles.  Very very quickly into the run, my calves were on fire.  They were just burning, and Kelly said she was having a hard time too.  We kept at it, though, hoping that we would get warmed up soon.

We didn't.

At mile two, which was our turn around point, we had a water station.  We refreshed ourselves and headed back for the next two miles.  Somewhere around two and a half miles, I finally felt my legs giving me a break and we settled more into a groove that was more comfortable.  At that point we were able to speed up a little.  Most of the groups passed us between 3 and 3.5 miles.  Kelly and I didn't take our last interval break, and we ran the rest of it in.  Total mileage for the day was 4.13! 

It's funny to me that I was just telling my family that I was considering signing up for a 10K in Galveston in October.  I figure I ran seven last weekend, so I've already done it.  But then another run like today comes along and shatters my confidence.  During is so trying, and it's hot, and I'm tired, and everyone passes us up.  Then on the drive home I'm thinking, "I think I could run a couple more!"  It's crazy.  Maybe the 10K is more mental for me right now.  I have to remember that it's not supposed to be easy.  Coach always says it's supposed to be hard; it's supposed to be a little uncomfortable.  It doesn't have to be easy; I just have to keep pushing myself. 

Anyway, after the run, we went to Zumba.  Yesterday, one of the ladies I work with brought us a cake from this wonderful bakery, so Grace and I indulged with the agreement that we would definitely go to Zumba after our run-no matter what!  So there we were and our shirts were still soaked from the run.  Gross.

Renee was in rare form today.  I guess she had missed a couple of classes, so she was probably as happy to get back to class as we were.  I think if it had been any other instructor, our workout would  not have been the same.  We would have been half-assing it.  But she is so infectious and fun and energetic, it's impossible not to get into the class.  We caught up with Tammy after class was over, and I just felt really good.  

I think I need to just stop freaking out.  Maybe melatonin will help me sleep better on nervous nights.  We'll see.  I have a week to figure it out. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Laughter and Calories

Grace Kelly and I decided to go to Zumba today.  I was feeling kind of grumpy when I got there, and I was irritated that I didn't go running.  We FINALLY got some rain today, so it was cooler and not quite so humid.  It would have been a good day for a run.  So this was part of my bad attitude while I'm waiting for Zumba to start.

For some reason, I wasn't really feeling it; and I could tell Kelly wasn't either.  We were working hard, but we just didn't have that same spunk to our moves.  About half way through class that damn Ricky Martin song came on.  As we went to get water, I looked at Kelly and said, "I'm sitting this one out!"   And then I saw my friend, Tammy.  So while Kelly was trying to get into Ricky, Tammy and I caught up.  The next song came on, and we stayed in the back.  This was probably a bad thing because its harder to see her up there because she's really tiny.  But then she started this move with her hip and moving her arms up and down and clapping.  We couldn't figure out what the heck she was doing up there.  Kelly and Tammy tried their best, but I broke out into my own freestyle dance sequence.  And then we all started laughing.  We continued on, but when that same move came up again, I looked over, and Tammy was breaking into my freestyle dance sequence.  I lost it at that point.  And we were all laughing for the rest of the song.

 Then all of a sudden this guy was behind us.  I asked Kelly when he got there because I swear he wasn't there the whole time.  He danced for a while, but during the last song, he opted to do some ab work.  I saw him get down into a plank, and I rolled my eyes because why would you do a plank without being instructed to do so.  Then he stretched, and that is when Tammy saw him on the ground.  Her eyes got wide as can be when she saw him down there, and I could tell she thought we had lost one.  I expected her to start yelling, "Man down!!"   (She's a nurse)

So, although I wasn't really feeling all groovy, I am so glad I went to class.  Spending time with these ladies tonight was definitely what I needed. Laughing is so great, and I think I needed that more than the exercise itself. 

And Laughing burns calories too, you know.  Probably like 10!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lights Out!

I’m sitting in total darkness.  For some reason unbeknownst to me, our power has gone out.  And yes, Honeybun, I did pay the bill!

It’s kind of creepy.  It’s really dark except for the computer screen illuminating the living room where I sit.  I really think its sabotage.  I didn’t work out yesterday, because I was really tired.  I guess we’re all just trying to get back into the routine of school and all that.  I went to bed early instead.  So tonight, the little one went to sleep a little early and I’m looking forward to a quiet night and a Wii Active workout. 

So I started the game, and right away it tells me that I cannot complete the 30 day challenge I was working on.  I don’t think it would gripe at me if it knew I was running.  Well, maybe it would since I have missed strength training quite a bit. 

Anyway, I’m half way into the workout, which is pretty intense.  There were lunges and these awful running kick ups and kick backs which are hard enough without the Wii not picking up your movements and telling you to pick up the pace.  I was just starting to work up a sweat when “poof” the lights go.  They flickered, and then they went out.  And my first thought was that there was a crazed masked man outside my door.  But when I looked outside, I could see everyone was without power.  But it’s creepy even without the crazed psycho.  The wind is blowing through the trees and there is just enough light for you to see it.  It’s all just eerie and I swear it’s happening to sabotage my efforts.   Because it’s all about me.

Hopefully it will come on again soon.  But if not, I think I’ll just go to bed before I get freaked out.   For once I wish someone else was home.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Double Digit Days!

So double digit days obviously does not refer to the temperature here in Southeast Texas as we are hitting a record number of days in the 100's.  Blech!!  The countdown to the Warrior Dash is now in the double digits.  89 days to be exact!  Wow!

It's hard to believe that so much time has passed since the beginning of this journey.  The Dash was over 275 days away. Practically a year!  It's exciting to think about. 

I spent some time thinking about my run on Saturday and trying to wrap my head around it.  I have such great family and friends, and they are proud of me; and the more and more they tell me congratulations and things like that, I realize how amazing it truly is.  Then I remember that 200 days ago, running this distance was unfathomable to me.  So I'm going to take a minute and really be proud of myself.

And another minute to tell you guys that I love you too!  You being here and reading this means so much.  It keeps me going on days that I don't feel like it.

So!  89 days! Woo Hoo!

Today was the first day of second grade for my little one, and I feel very fortunate to have been able to take her to school.  She tackled it like a champ and had a great first day.  We celebrated it by going swimming at the natatorium while my mom did water aerobics.  We played ball and jumped off the diving boards and just had lots of fun. 

After getting home, I decided to go for a run.  I was still feeling cooled off from being in the pool, and I thought I would take advantage of that.  I knew it would have to be a quick run because we're back into bedtime schedules and all of that.  As I hit the trail, I was in the sun but the breeze was blowing and it wasn't so bad.  I felt like I was going slow, but I didn't have the Garmin to show my pace.  I didn't worry about it too much though.  Speed will come, and I'm still following Coach Ric's training plan. 

The run was great!  I loved being outside, and even though it was still in the mid to high 90's, it felt great!  It was everything I'd been missing on my solo runs.  Mapping it out, it was 2.25 miles. 

Swimming and playing and a good outdoor run.  Even the triple-digit temperatures couldn't take away my joy today.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

7 Miles!

Saturday, August, 20, 2011

So I took yesterday off which is recommended by Coach Ric; and being that I had my seven miles to run, I took it.  I had been having anxiety dreams about this run since getting the e-mail with the route, and last night was no exception.  I kept waking up and looking at my clock, afraid that I was going to oversleep.  I finally did just get out of bed around 4:00 thinking I would relax until it was time to leave.  Of course my little one had other plans as she woke up and had a hard time going back to sleep.  In the end, I was running late, but that's okay because so was Grace Kelly.

I met her at our assigned location, and we didn't see our other group members, but we were both late, so we thought maybe they had already left.  So it's 5:30, and we take off. I got to use my LED light that I won last week for my magic mile, so that was pretty cool.  It is so hot and muggy here that we were working up a visible sweat before we even reached the first half mile.  Somewhere between mile two and three, we were in a neighborhood running alongside a pond.  That was kind of neat- running by a pond, the sun barely starting to peak out, and ducks waking up.  I told Kelly that it would be so nice here if it was just a little cooler.  We kept going trying to take sips of water and rationing it until we reached mile five where our water station would be. 

So far, so good.  Now we're a little past mile four.  We turn onto a street that we grossly underestimated the length of.  This road went on forever!  And it seemed even worse because toward the end of this road was our water station, and we were both out of water. 

Finally, we see the corner and our coolers.  As we reached it, it was funny that it seemed many of our groups were meeting up at this particular spot at the same time.  I grabbed my ice-cold water towel and put it on my back.  I should mention that I made the mistake of wearing a white, cotton t-shirt because all my other running shirts were dirty.  I also thought I was being smart because we were starting out in the dark and white would be good.  Well as the ice water was running down the back and front of my shirt, I realized that this was not the best idea.  But at this point, I didn't really care.  It was getting hotter as time went on, we were at 5.7 miles, and we still has another mile and a half to go.  We refilled our water bottles and kept going.  All was fine until we reached the last mile.  I don't know if it was a mental thing or what, but I was tired and I could feel my heart rate getting slightly higher.  Kelly was still going strong , but I was tired.  She kept me going though.  We got back to the starting point right at 7.25 miles.  We did it!  I did it!  And I did it without killing Kelly's watch.  It took us two hours and three minutes.

Coach Dan asked us how the run went and we told him it was great.  I added that it was tough, especially that last mile. He said, "It's supposed to be tough.  It's tough for all of us.  If this was easy, everyone would be doing it."   That made me feel really good.  I know that it's easy for me not to give myself enough credit, especially around these guys who have so much running experience and marathons behind them.  So him saying this to me just made me feel that I belong there.  Among the runners.  Pushing myself.  Striving to improve.  I may only have a few month of running behind me, but they were once in my running shoes too.

Seven miles!  I've been told by Lynn that at ten, I am entitled to ribs!  But I'm thinking a cheesecake shake might be the way to go.  =)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Salsa Musings

After two days, and no workouts, I knew I had to get to the gym today.  One day wasn't quite my fault; I had to work late, but I had no excuse for Wednesday.

I got my route for Saturday's seven-mile run.  I've never run seven miles, and the map freaked me out.  So although I set my alarm for 5:00 am and went to bed early, I had stress nightmares and woke up frequently.  I still managed to wake up at 5, and for the first time, I made it to spin class before Matt even had his bike set up!  He was so proud.

Usually spin class is mostly women, but today we were outnumbered by men.  My guess is Matt felt like he needed to up the game with more testosterone in the room.  After flat roading at 90 rpms for our warm up, he wasted no time adding tension to our ride.  And more tension.  And more tension, all the while asking us to keep our 90 rpm pace.  Then he added more and had us do some jumps.  Then he added more and we did some standing work including the butt busters where we only move our legs.  We maintained this pace with LOTS of tension for the first twenty minutes of class.  Ouch!

Even after that torture portion of the class, he was still tougher than usual.  Usually we can tell when he's going to be a little tougher because he has a bigger towel.  The towel was no warning indicator today, but I survived it; and I felt pretty good.  Most spin classes I average 16 miles by the class's end.  Today, I reached 20!

So after work, my Dad took us out to dinner to have Mexican food.  I took it easy on the salsa and chips, but the salsa music was sounding pretty good.  So even after knocking back a margarita and having a full salsa belly, I went to Zumba. 

I really should have ran today, but perhaps I'll enjoy my runs a little more if I mix in other stuff I'm missing.  I miss Zumba.  But I'm thinking that after seven miles on Saturday (If I survive it) I don't think I'll be up for it.  I've missed so many Saturday Zumba classes, and today, even with that stupid Ricky Martin song playing, I realized just how much I miss it.  I was not in the mood to exercise, but it's just so much fun when the music starts to play loudly and you start dancing. 

I don't know.  We'll see.  With school starting up again, I'll have to come up with a new schedule and get revitalized.  I do love to run, and I love my running club.  But at this point in time, it is not my goal to run a half marathon.  I just want to get better.  In order to keep my love for running and my quest for fitness, I'll have to keep sight of the other forms of exercising that have brought me this far in the first place.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Scattered Running

I had a doctor's appointment this morning, just a regular checkup, so I stayed home for the first part of the day.  I thought I would wake up early and hit the gym, and I would have plenty of time before my appointment to get in a good workout.  But I had taken NyQuil before I went to bed in hopes of cleaning out some of my yucky congestion and I think it made me a little more sleepy than normal. So I woke up and thought, I need to get up and get dressed.  So I did, and I started packing my bag, and then I woke up and realized that the getting up part I had only dreamt.  That happened several times.  By the time I actually woke up, it was time for me to get up and get ready.  Luckily (or unluckily) my appointment was cancelled, and so I ended up having plenty of time for the gym after all.

I have been neglecting weight training for way to long now, so I went straight to the weight room to tackle the circuit training.  I started out with a seven minute warm up on the recumbent bike before picking up my weights. I got the bosu ball and the exercise ball and hit the mat.  Considering my lapse in training, it went pretty well.  It was tough, but it always has been, so that's ok.  I did two sets of twelve reps each of the nine exercises.  It felt good.  OR maybe I was just happy to be done with it; I don't know.  On my way out of the room, I added another set of triceps exercises.  They were burning.

Next I went up to the track to get my run in.  Today's run had to be 45 minutes.  I decided today's run would be kind of haphazard in the way that I would not count the number of running laps before walking a lap.  I would just go.  But I actually ended up counting them anyway-at least for the first fifteen minutes.  After that I ran two, walked one, ran one, walked one, ran three, walked one, etc...  I then figured out I liked having more structure, so I got out my phone and turned on one of the running apps with intervals.  On one of the e-mails Coach Ric sent it, it had training intervals as suggested by Jeff Galloway set by our training pace.  For my pace it was 30 second run, 1 minute walk.  So I set the phone that way.  When it was time to run, I ran. Fast. Then I walked to recover.  I did this for the last fifteen minutes.  I liked it, and I felt really good after.

Next I had to hit the showers to make it back to work for the last half of the day.  Today's forgotten item was a towel.  That really sucks, because you have to dry off somehow.  What makes it even worse is after I "improvised" drying off, I had a towel in my car the whole time.

Oh well.  It was a good workout and I'm happy to have gotten it in early in the day.  Tonight is my women's group and we're having dinner.  I'll try to be good, but I'm glad for the calorie deficit today.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Magic Mile

Somehow I thought that since today's run was only going to be five miles with no bridges, it was going to be easier.  I say "only" like I run five miles all the time and it's a piece of cake, but I just mean that it's less than six and no bridges.  Anyway, I thought this but I wasn't accounting for the magic mile.

The magic mile-we run as fast as we can pretty much at our max heart rate.  It wore me out.  Kelly and I started out for our warm up mile; but as we were finishing up our second lap, the line up for the magic mile was already starting.  I was excited about seeing how much I improved, and I was hoping I might be the one with the biggest improvement, being that I have so much room for it.

We took off, and we pretty much stayed together for the first half mile.  For a quarter of it, I led our group and that felt pretty good.  I've never really been first at anything.  In the third lap though, I had to slow down.  I slowed down for the length of the football field, and then I did my best to catch up.  I was pushing it, and I was doing fine until I coughed.  I've been extremely congested this past week, and my nose was completely stuffed.  So when I coughed it threw off my breathing and I had to fight to get it back under control.  Right around the last loop of the mile, I had almost caught up to Kelly and Julie, but they sprinted the last length of the field to run in.  I was not far behind, and my time called out by Coach Ric was 12:18.

12:18!  That's a whole minute and twelve seconds faster than that very first magic mile.  I was so happy, I wanted to cry; but I couldn't because I was too busy gasping for air.  =)

Our next task was to run another three miles (with no bridges) at our own pace and taking intervals in as needed.  So we take off, and my legs feel like they weigh a thousand pounds.  First we thought we would do our 5:1 intervals, but we weren't doing so well.  After fidgeting and somewhat running and walking, we decided we would do 1:1 intervals.  Grace Kelly set her watch and it started to beep every minute to indicate when to run and when to walk. At one point, it felt pretty good, but around the mile mark, it started hitting me again.  Julie was already ready to turn around, so we agreed to get down to the next street first and then we would turn around a little bit early.  I gave her one of my water bottles to help cool her off.  We kept up with the intervals, and as we got closer to the school, I was really tired and ready to stop. We turned back into the parking lot to get back to the track.  We were almost done. Kelly's watched beeped for our walking portion, and as we were walking I said, "Kelly, if that watch beeps again for us to run, I'm going to have to rip it off your wrist and stomp on it!"  On cue, it did beep, and Kelly started running.  "If I can catch you!" I added.

But I didn't catch her.  And rock star that she is, once we got back, she finished up the half mile that we missed for our warm up mile.

As we were waiting for all runners to come back in, Coach Rick told me that it is normal for the run to be harder after the magic mile.  That made me feel better, but I still feel like I flaked out. 

Next up was our core exercise contest.  We got paired up with a team mate who would count and log our times.  First my partner, Jack, went.  Our first exercise was jumping jacks.  The timer went off and he started doing them.  I counted out loud every tenth one, and he did 89 of them in a minute.  I was kind of embarrassed because I knew I could come no where near that number.  It was my turn, and I started.  I had to take a quick break around 45 seconds, and then I kept going.  A minute is a long time when doing jumping jacks, but I made through a total of 65 which is better than I thought I would do.  And considering I wouldn't even attempt to even do a jumping jack six months ago, I think it's stellar!  Next up was the plank.  Of course it would have to be the plank!  Jack was first, and he held his plank for an entire minute!  The contest was tough and the girl that held her plank the longest was almost four minutes!!  Four minutes!!!  Next up was my turn, and I was nervous.  I laid down on the wet grass, and got into position.  I held that plank, and the time was being called out every five seconds.  I thought, I've got to try to hold this for a minute.  I was shaking from the get go, and I wondered.  I tried to occupy my thoughts, but it was tough. As I heard the minute mark called out, I smiled.  I pooped out at 1 minute 11 seconds.  That's a record. 

So the way I thought the contest worked was that we were competing within our group.  Which means I won the plank contest. Kelly probably would have won, but her shoulder is still recovering from her wild dirt bike ride.  But that's not how it worked.  I think he gave it to the top three winners overall.  Well deserved I might add.

Then there was the magic mile contest.  I didn't win that one, but I did have the second best improved time.  I was hoping for one of those fabulous gift cards, but instead I got a flashing LED light to use while running. It's neat, but I don't run at night.  But it was fun to get a prize anyway and the people I have gotten to know where really excited for me.  I was really proud of my time today, just disappointed in how I ran after.

It's all still new, so I'll see what next week holds.  It's a longer mileage run with no hills and no magic mile.  I hope I feel better and more in the zone for it.  I've come this far, and I just have to push myself to keep going further.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rebecca

So today, I did wake up for spin.  Yea, me!  I woke up so sleepy from my late run last night, but I couldn't allow myself to make any more excuses since I have been such a slacker.  I got up and make it in time to class.  This was not Matt's class, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  But when I walked in, Rebecca (Friday's instructor) asked if I needed help setting up my bike.

This is encouraging.

I tell her I've got it, and she goes ahead and explains the process to everyone in the class.  Very good. 

She starts us off at flat road of 90 rpms, which I am happy to be able to get to.  But it wasn't too long into class that I realize she's into speed.  She likes it, she teaches it, and she makes us do it!  I guess the fast paced Lady Gaga and Kesha music should have tipped me off.  It was like a dance club mix of fast-paced pop music.

So pretty soon she starts us off.  She's all, get to 95, so I get to 95 then she's all, "get to 100", so I get to 100, then she's all "110" and I'm like HOLY COW!! and then she's all "115!" and I'm like ARE YOU KIDDING? and then she's all "120!" and I cursed at her in my head.

I never made it to 120. Instead I shot her death rays at her with my eyes, which apparently do not work because she kept calling out those kinds of numbers.


There were several times where she wanted us to get up to that speed.  I never could reach it, but I did get to 114.  The only time she let us go down below 90 was when we were "going up a hill" and our tension was really high.  With all of this being said, I enjoyed the class.  I was just tired.

Tomorrow is running club, so I went back to see the Dr. Tracey.  I knew my hips were tight, but OMG!!!!  I had no idea how much pain it would be to work out what I thought were smaller knots.  Apparently it's my piraformus.  But within minutes I'm walking out the door and feeling better.  I'm ready to take on the road tomorrow.

Round and Round and Round We Go

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My lack of gumption self spent Wednesday night with the neighbors.  My little one and I made visited while my husband was playing softball.  We got home later than normal on a week night, and I didn't do any sort of exercises.  My plan was to get up early and make it to spin.  Really.  I even dreamt about it and woke up several times during the night to check the clock. But I woke up at 5:50, five minutes after class started.  And I felt awful.

I had to get a 50 minute run in for Coach Ric's schedule, but it is just so hot when I get home, the last thing I want to do is go running at the rec center.  It's taking some of the joy of running out of it.  So I went late; a little too late, but I knew I would feel like a total loser if I skipped out on my run, too.  So I did go.  I thought about trying different intervals, but instead I stuck with the 4:1 laps because it's easier to keep track of my distance.  As late as it was there were several people on the track.  Most of them walkers and one high school gazelle that sprinted around the track twice before he left.  He was fast.  I felt pretty good.  I noticed that I outlasted all of my fellow tracksters, even the ones that came after me. I took my walking breaks and made sure I stayed hydrated by getting a drink of water with every 5th lap.

It just gets so tedious, around and around and around to get your time in.  I did lose track, too.  I want to say that I did three miles, but I really can't be sure.  By the time I was finished with the run and stretching, it was 10:15.  I had to get home to get to bed.

To wind down, I had started reading The Help, and I read a little before going to sleep.  I hope to get to spin in the morning, but with my track record lately, outlook is not so good.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Heat Wave

I feel like I'm losing my gumption.  I know I've been taking more days off than normal, and I feel like all I've been concentrating on is running.  I'm scared of losing my obsession with exercising.  Is it the heat?  Is it me?

Any suggestions?

I was sitting outside while my little one and the neighborhood kids were playing in a tent in the front yard.  In the shade it wasn't quite so bad.  This is surprising being that the temperatures every day are forecasted to be over 100 degrees.  Not only that but my husband said there was a heat advisory until 10:00 pm.  PM!!!  As we were wrapping things up to come in, I thought I might go ahead and get an outdoor run in while she was getting her bath.  I've missed running outside; it's just so hot it makes it hard. 

I suited up and hit the trail.  It was already getting late, and the old man who lives on the corner house shouted to me, "You better hurry!"  I passed up some walkers and was enjoying being on the trail that I have come to miss. It didn't take long before the front of my shirt was soaking wet, and sweat was getting into my eyes. I debated quickly which way to go since my daylight was fading rather fast. Rather than go into the park, I went ahead and made the turn and ran on the sidewalks by the neighborhood.  As I turned, I looked at the trail I was skipping, and I saw this other runner who I say is really a gazelle disguised as a man.  He must have been using that portion of the trail to get in his hill work.  He should try the Bailey bridge!

Once I got to the road by city hall, there was a nice steady breeze and it was wonderful.  I can hardly wait for the fall when things cool off.  I guess here in Texas that might actually be winter, but I anxiously await it nonetheless.

It was pretty dark as I turned back onto my street.  I was disappointed that I only got a 26 minute run in, but happy that I didn't have to do it at the gym again.  As I walked back up to my house, I took a minute to stretch my calves.  As I stretched, I balanced myself against the house.  As my hand touched the bricks, I could feel the heat radiating from them but at the same time, I felt like the heat from my hand was transferring to the house as well.  It was weired, and I reminded me of Ghost when Patrick Swayze touches the door and it starts to meld into his arm. 

Weird, I know.

So, no rain in sight and temperatures over 100 degrees every day.  I need help!  I need my gumption!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rec Center Runs

Today I met our partner in crime and fellow Warrior Princess, Holly!  She's the daughter of a wonderful woman I work with, but I had never met her face to face.  So Yea!  We have a great group, and I can't believe it's only 103 days away!

When I got home, my mom had cooked dinner; and it smelled wonderful.  I really just wanted to eat, but she was going to water aerobics.  My husband said I should just go ahead and go now to get my run in rather than waiting till later.  I didn't argue, and I took off with my mom.  I figured I could get my run in and join the last half of water aerobics.

So I took off upstairs, and started my run.  Today the enjoyment of running the track had worn off, and I found myself getting bored.  So I tried to distract myself with other things.  When Buble's version of Crazy Little Thing Called Love played, I thought of my daughter dancing with her drill team when she was in high school.  When Waka Waka played, I thought of my Saturday Zumba class.  I just tried to distract myself for the 40 minutes I was to run.  Also today was kind of a mental thing too.  It takes ten times to make one mile so it plays tricks on you when your making your rounds, and it looks like you've gone a good distance, but you've only run a tenth of a mile.  I don't know but that's my second run up there where I didn't really get into the zone.  Maybe I need to make it a point to get back outdoors.  It's just so hot!!!

After my run, I went and quickly got dressed for water aerobics.  I made it right at the half mark, and got in a good thirty minutes.  She had us do lots of different arm exercises with the water weights.  I could definitely feel my tripcepts working.  Then she had us lay down and move our abs.  I could feel that, too. I really liked getting another good workout in after my run.  The best part was I got to cool off while doing it.

Now I'm up too late watching Forensic Files.  I have an all day training in Houston tomorrow, so I really should get upstairs.  But I have to find out who did it and how they caught them first. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Six Miles and Lots of Smells

August 6, 2011

So the creepy bike guy may not be a creepy bike guy after all.  Coach Ric said he's out there all the time, and sure enough when we showed up at 5:45 for our group run, he was out there.  But so was my group, so it was okay.  But as we were heading to the back of the school, it is so dark!  I think even if creepy-bike guy wouldn't have been there last week, I wouldn't have gone that way anyway.  I'm a chicken.

We started off walking until we got to the back of the school, and then Kelly and I started off with a slow jog.  The other two ladies wanted to walk a little longer, but we knew they would catch up to us, because I walk  much slower than they do.  Sure enough as we reached the first mile marker, we were together.  This week, we didn't really smell the donuts because the skunk in the area was overpowering it.  It stunk! 

Then we were making our first pass over the bridge, and they sped up.  We weren't too far behind them when we passed the mile marker at the end, and we turned around. At t his point, we were met by the odor of another kind, but I don't know specifically what it was.  But it was not pleasant.  Kelly and I realized that they were not exactly following the plan, which was fine.  We thought maybe we had it wrong and we were supposed to be running intervals, and I thought we could ask them when we met them again at the mile marker on the way back.  But when they passed the mile marker, they kept going!  I don't know why or what, but I guess they were done.  Kelly and I turned back around to head for the bridge (again!) and she was nice enough to give me a sip of water from her very small bottle.  I had forgotten my water belt again.  You think I would remember it, especially since this run was going to be a mile and a half longer!  But no, I'm waterless and the heart rate monitor part of the Garmin decided it was sleeping in.  In the entire hour and a half, it never picked up my heart rate. 

Anyway, things didn't get difficult until we turned around after the third pass of the bridge.  Adding the forth bridge was a challenge, and by this point I know I am getting dehydrated.  We started up the hill, and I pushed.  I pushed, and so did Kelly.  When she got to the top, she turned around and shouted encouragements at me.  We did it!  Now we just had to get back to the school and we would have our cold water and ice-cold towels waiting for us. 

Before we could make it back though, I started feeling kind of pissy.  Kelly's watch was giving us the intervals of 5:1, and it seemed like it was taking forever for the five minutes to finish.  Then I got mad because that's what I was afraid of-waiting for the walking breaks!  Then as we reached the back of the school, we could smell the manure from the ag barn that is right by the track.  That made me mad, too.  I asked Kelly to take another minute to the walking portion, and she did.  At that point, Coach Dan passed us and said, "How's it going ladies?" and I said, "Great.  We're going to run it in."  I didn't feel great, but we did run it in.  Then the gate we usually enter the track on was closed, so we had to go around to the other gate.  I immediately grabbed my towel, even before I got some water.  It felt like heaven, and I quickly went through a tumbler of water. 

There was discussion of the core exercises, but many people did not stay for them.  Kelly debated, but she had injured her shoulder earlier in the week by being a dare-devil on a dirt bike.  I could tell she felt bad about not doing them, but I told her she couldn't injure herself further before the Warrior Dash.

The twenty or so that were left went to the field to do the core exercises, and the plan was to do as many as we could in a minute.  And these are hard.  First up was In and Outs.  It's like a squat thrust, but with a jump at the end.  I did a few, but I did them slow, and I was pleased to hear that even those in the best of shape were struggling by the end of the minute.  Not pleased in a good way, just made me feel better that I was able to do any.  =)  Next up were jumping jacks.  Jumping jacks for a minute is a long time.  At this point, the group was trying to talk coach Dan into only doing them for 30 seconds.  By the time we got to the plank, it was only 30 seconds.  And I held it!!!  For 30 seconds!  I was proud.  However, my pride was short lived and the reverse plank was next and instead of planking on our hands, we were supposed to be on our elbows.  Well, my previous victory of holding it for a few seconds was not going to hold water here, because on my elbows, I was back to not being able to lift my bum.  I lifted slightly, like you could slide a sheet of paper under me.  Probably.  But I tried the best I could. 

They are tough exercises.

When i got home, I drank two more tumblers full of water including one with my electrolyte tablet dissolved in it.  After sitting for a few minutes quietly, I started to feel better.  I think I was even more dehydrated than I thought.  Lesson learned!  Do not forget the water belt.  I think next week, I'll also take my tumbler and set it by one of the mile markers for a quick cold sip along the way.  I saw some of our group members dropping their empty bottles and even their entire belts along the way.  I'm sure it will make a huge difference.  I also will not be eating breakfast before a run.  I thought since it was a longer run, I would eat the peanut butter with a flax waffle.  I did that on the 5K day, too; but I think it makes me feel more sluggish. 

It's all in a learning curve.

Once I was feeling back to normal, we took off for a family day on the beach.  I walked along the shore with my daughter and found shells and we build sand towers.  I saw people running, too. It was kind of surreal, like they were moving in slow motion.  (like Baywatch, but without the hot men and women)  The people that I saw were just average people, but having the ocean as a backdrop just made the act of running just look effortless.  I'll would love to try it sometime.  It just looks wonderful.

I did also try to get over my fear of natural open waters, but I think maybe a lake or pond is more of a place to do that.  I made it up to my knees before I felt some seaweed and freaked out. 

Oh well.  I really don't have to get into the ocean today. I ran six miles.  One big milestone is enough.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Spinning My Wheels

I am surprised that I am about to write the next statement.  I was happy to make it to spin class this morning!

Wow!  Who knew?  I was forcing myself to get out of bed at that ungodly hour to get to this class, but after missing it for a week and a half, I was ready to get back to spinning my wheels.  I even arranged it with my boss and my mother so that I will be able to make it to class on Thursdays after school starts up.  Mom will get my second grader up and ready for school, and I will make it back to take her and drop her off.  I will go in half an hour late and take a thirty minute lunch.  All to spin.  I know now that I have lost my mind!

Unfortunately, I was late to class.  I apologized as I walked in, but Matt said, "It's okay.  You're here!"  He's so easy going.  I think the year of music was from 1998, and it was a good mix.  I quickly tried to warm up and it was in no time at all that we were doing jumps and standing work.  I found that this morning I kept putting pressure on the outside of my feet, like overpronating I guess.  I'll try to focus on that, but it's hard to remember that when I'm trying to get over 110 rpms.

It was a good class, but that's all she wrote for today as far as exercise goes.  I missed pilates because I promised my little one I would take her to my friends house.  And I'm sleepy, so I am not getting my run in today.  I hope I get some good sleep tonight.  I'll make up for it in the morning.  It's actually a scheduled day off for running club, but I am hoping getting it in early will be okay.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Old Time Rock and Roll

August 2, 2011

Once again, it's ridiculously late, and I'm up just getting home from the gym.  I blew it tonight.  The timing was perfect.  I was outside while the little one was riding her bike.  I would bring her in in the next ten minutes so she could get her bath and watch her show while I got my outdoor run in.  Although it was still hot outside, it was cooling off and there was a wonderful breeze.  I had plenty of time to get my thirty-minute run in and everything. 

But then some neighbors came over to play, and my well-laid-out plan went right out the window.

On a good note, I finally got all my Dad's Bob Seger cd's downloaded and synced to my phone.  So for tonight's run, it was all Seger.  I followed the same four:one plan.  Although most of it was in my target heart rate zone, I wasn't quite feeling it tonight.  Not sure why.  Maybe I'm just tired from the late night last night and not sleeping well.  It wasn't a bad run, it just didn't have that same "in the zone" feel.  As I was finishing up the second mile, I was thinking, "where's Old Time Rock and Roll?"  Almost on cue, the song started for the last 2/10 of a mile.  That made me smile and it was a good way to finish! 

As I was stretching on the mat, I thought I would try some of the core exercises that the coach sent us.  I started with planks.  You know how much I love planks!  As much as I love planks, I love reverse planks even more.  (In case it isn't obvious, the previous statements should be read with every bit of sarcasm you can muster!)  I imagine this is because I tried to do one the other night, and I couldn't get my bum off the ground!  So embarrassing!  So imagine my surprise when I tried one today, and there was actually space between the mat and my bum!  I think I held it for maybe five seconds, but it was a start.  But I'll take it. 

I'm sure it had something to do with the Seger.  He rocks!

Monday, August 1, 2011

That Darn Hamster

We love our hamster.  It took us three tries, but we finally got a great little critter for our family. 

But he is making me crazy right now.  CRAZY!!  It's late, and I should be in bed for several reasons, mainly because I want to go to spin in the morning.  So I'm trying to sync my phone, and I should be in bed, and I'm distracting myself with Drop Dead Diva, and the hamster is running on the wheel.  And running, and running, and running, and this wheel is so loud.  Last night the little one came into the room at 3:45 or so to go to the bathroom, and I could hear this damn hamster running on this wheel.  IT'S LOUD!!!  And right now it's driving me crazy.

I think I'm on edge.

I irrationally got irritated this evening with the girls, even though one is three hours away.  I left to go to the rec center to get my run in, and I was hoping to run away the frustration.  It was 9:00 by the time I was able to get there, and I was regretting not going right after I got home, like my husband suggested. Oh well, I started running, and I started the first half mile pretty strong.  Then I slowed down closer to my training pace for the next two and a half miles.  I really am liking the run-four, walk-one intervals.  Mainly because it is easy to keep track of miles. 

(The phone is barely on step 2 of 5 of the sync, and the hamster is still running!)

I stayed on the track for a total of 50 minutes and a total of three miles.  Now it's almost 10:00 and no one else was on the track.  I plopped myself down on a mat to get my stretching in, and then I just laid there for a minute and played with my phone, just letting it all go.  Breathing.  Relaxing.  Ahhhhhh.

But now, I'm home. I guess I should have stayed there because this hamster is still running.  I wish you could hear how loud this damn hamster wheel is; I'm sure tomorrow this will be funny.  Right now, it's just right over my noise threshold.